How to Get Blog Traffic – 11 Steps to Growing Readership
Guest Post by Alice Seba
Many of us work so hard on our blogs and frankly, it kind of sucks if we don’t get the traffic we want. And it’s a catch-22…you can’t get the traffic without the work, but it’s tough to justify all the work if you don’t get the traffic. Well, here are 11 suggestions to get the traffic you want to your blog.
1. Be Remarkable – This one is number one for a reason. If you do this, most of the rest of this list will come into place and will have lasting effect on the growth of your readership.
Be remarkable by:
* Being informative: Teach your readers what they want and convey the info in a way your audience appreciates.
* Entertain – Insert humor, amaze your readers…do what’s appropriate to get their attention.
* Connect with Your Audience – Understand and speak to their pain, worries and even their dreams and desires.
* Be Controversial – Share an opinion…not everyone has to agree with you to find you interesting.
I have been accused of having an “if you build it, they will come” attitude with this suggestion and I guess to some extent, it is true. That doesn’t mean you can’t be proactive in your traffic building as well, but the more remarkable your blog is…the better the long and short term effects of your efforts.
2. RSS Feed: You’d think it’d be a given, but I see plenty of blogs without an RSS feed. If you’re not familiar with the term, an RSS feed allows your readers to be notified when you make new blog posts. Unless your audience is totally tech-savvy and is all over the RSS thing, I recommend setting up a feed that allows your reader to sign up for updates into their feed reader or email if they prefer. An easy way to set up this type of feed is to use a free service like FeedBurner.com.
3. Ping!: Make sure your blog is set up to ping the various web blogs. Many blog platforms allow you to set this up in your settings. This helps a variety of information/search sites know that you’ve updated your blog.
4. Make Comments: Make useful comments on busy blogs related to your blog’s subject. Usually, you can link back to your site when you make a comment on another blog. BE RESPECTFUL!: Only use the space provided for your link…don’t write ads or fancy signatures AND make sure your comment is relevant and useful to other readers.
5. Do Trackbacks: Many blogs allow you to make commentary about their posts on your own blog. When you link to their particular blog post, a link to your own blog post appears in the comments area on their blog. For trackbacks between WordPress blogs, all you need to do is link to a blog post and it’s automatically set up. BE RESPECTFUL: If you’re going to trackback, have something useful to say. Just summarizing and linking to someone’s post does NOT add to the discussion.
6. Keep Your Email List Up-to-Date: You probably already know that your mailing list is a valuable asset. Use this asset to the fullest by sending them to your blog to read the posts you think they will find helpful, enjoy, etc.
7. Distribute Content: A great way to get people read more of your content is by getting content out there to more people. You can distribute articles, post videos, guest post on other blogs…just get some good stuff out there and lead people back to read your blog.
8. Affiliates Link to Your Blog: If your affiliate program allows your affiliates to link to any page on your site, encourage them to link to and write about your various blog posts. The system I use at Quicksales.com (a private-label 1ShoppingCart) allows my affiliates to quickly and easily link to any blog post they want.
Affiliate referrals are cookied when someone follows a link and if that referral eventually buys, they get the commission. Of course, the conversions on blog links aren’t going to be as good as linking directly to a sales page, but it gives your affiliates the opportunity to bring value to their own readers (by linking to your AWESOME content) and potential benefit financially.
9. Social Networks: You can use various social networks (Twitter, Facebook, MySpace) to drive traffic to a blog. People you connect with socially are likely to be interested in what you have to say on your blog. Make sure you follow proper etiquette and use your common sense. Also, don’t overdo it and get lost in your social networks all day…you’ve got WORK and other important things to do. Plus, if you are remarkable, those who use social networks will be doing the work for you and talking about you.
10. Social Bookmarking: Social bookmarking includes sites like Digg, del.icio.us and Stumble Upon, where you can share links to a variety of content. Some people self-bookmark, but realize this could put your account in jeopardy, so read all the rules first. Others choose to work with others in helping each other bookmark. Being remarkable also encourages people to spread the word on your behalf.
11. SEO (Search Engine Optimization): I put this one last, where I know a lot of people tend to put it first. If your goal is repeat visitors who become faithful fans, put SEO on the backburner and SEO your other content pages where you are looking for first-time or drive-by visitors.
The problem with trying to optimize all your blog pages is that it takes away from you being remarkable. A remarkable blog is written with interesting subject lines (rather than boring keyword phrases) and isn’t always on topics that people use a search engine to find. Of course, you can combine the two (SEO and being remarkable) in some ways, but don’t let SEO take anything away from the interest and word-of-mouth your blog creates.
More Blogging Help:
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